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MLB buys the company that makes its baseballs

Boston Red Sox outfielder J.D. Mertinez hits a home run. Photo by Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Private equity firm Seidler Equity Partners and Major League Baseball agreed to jointly buy Rawlings, a St. Louis-based sporting goods and equipment maker, from Newell Brands for $395 million.

Why it's a big deal: Because MLB is three years into a home run surge that many believe is enabled by juiced baseballs, which are made by Rawlings. MLB has said its testing shows no such alterations, but also has the rhetorical "out" that it isn't the manufacturer. This deal eliminates that arms-length plausible deniability.